Gil had stepped out of the apartment building as his cell phone started ringing. Grissom.
Hey, its me, Catherines voice warmed him. How are you?
Theres blood spatter everywhere.
She chuckled. Oooh goody.
Shouldve brought you, he joked, shuffling one foot through some of the gravel in the driveway. Did you find your assignment sheet?
Yes, she answered. Nick and I are actually on our way to Lake Mead now.
Gil smiled. Yeah. Scuba diver in a tree. Sounds....
Sketchy, she finished for him.
Exactly. He sighed when he saw Warrick come outside. I should be getting back to the scene.
Yeah, she gave in.
He saw Warrick smirk, when he spoke again. It was nice to hear your voice. She giggled softly; he could picture her blushing. Ill pick up supper when were done, alright?
I love you.
He hung up the phone, and put it back in his pocket. Warrick smiled. Hows Cath?
Shes on her way to Lake Mead. Scuba diver in a tree.
The younger CSI chuckled. I heard. Sounds like an urban legend.
Were scientists, Warrick, Gil shook his head and laughed.
Catherine hung up the phone and passed it back to Nick. She hadnt told him about the case. Even she didnt completely believe the report, but she wanted to see Nicks reaction to the scene. She sighed and leaned back against the seat while she drove, thinking about Gil. She hadnt seen him in a while. He had been busy with case work, and Lindsay had had a dance rehearsal, so she had been busy being the supportive mother. He didnt come home before going back to work, and by the time she had gotten there, he had already left with Warrick and Sara.
How was he?
She managed to control her reaction, keeping the blushing to a minimum. Oh, right. Hes fine. Working some blood spatter case. Its everywhere. She winked at him and sighed, puffing her chest out. Of course, he wishes he had the blood expert with him.
Nick laughed. Yeah, well, Sara will be able to help him, Im sure.
Catherine lifted her head and glanced at him, after turning onto the dirt road she was supposed to, in order to get to the crime scene. Huh?
Havent you always wondered if there was something going on between those two?
She never had, but she wasnt going to tell Nick that. Warrick was the only one that knew about them, and she intended to keep it that way. She found it interesting that Nick saw potential between Gil and Sara. She smiled at him and shrugged. Havent really thought much about it. She was always his student to me, so I never saw past it. She smiled at him. Has anything happened there?
Nick shook his head. Nah. I just... they work well together.
Theyre both very similar, personality-wise, Catherine told him, Thats probably why.
I guess so.
She added, mostly to reassure herself. Plus, Warrick is going to be there.
She watched a helicopter fly overhead, carrying a red bucket, pouring water over some of the flames. The hills were still on fire; nothing seemed to help. She shrugged, parking the car. When they both got out, fetching their kits from the back seat, Nick asked: Do you know something I dont, about all this?
Catherine shook her head. No... Gil hasnt mentioned anything, about her, in that capacity, so I wouldnt know. She smiled. Why are you so curious, Nicky?
He shook his head, and started walking towards the scene. Catherine, chuckling under her breath, caught up, and together they passed a group of firefighters to get to the scene.
Zero humidity, record highs. Tis the season.
She recognized Detective ORiley nearby, and approached him. Hi, she greeted him.
Hey, he replied. I dont even know where to start with this one. Take a look at that. A scuba diver up a tree.
Catherine, despite hearing about the case, was still surprised to see it. Nick spoke first. Wow.
She agreed. How the hell did he get up there?
Nick spoke next, after Catherine scanned the ground for anything unusual. He couldnt have climbed up there with all that crap on.
ORiley countered: He got up there somehow.
Well, Nick spoke again, You know... Lake Mead is just over the hill, and the copters are dropping water.
She looked up. Couldnt be that simple. Besides, that was such an impossible chance. But, she did almost expect that sort of first guess from Nick. She glanced at him. Youre serious? He only smiled in reply. Thats a total urban legend. Were scientists, Nicky. No way that happened.
After she spoke, he looked skywards. Okay.
She wanted to laugh, but she contained the urge. And, I suppose you believe in Santa?
He smiled. After today, oh, yeah.
Hey, Gil, Catherine had seen him working and decided to stop into his office. He smiled when she shut the door behind her. Whatcha doing?
He sighed and stretched. Paperwork. You?
Waiting for autopsy results. Doc isnt quite done yet.
The scuba diver?
She nodded. Yeah. Cant wait to hear what Al has to say about him. She chuckled. You shouldve seen the look on Davids face... priceless.
What does Nicky think about it?
She walked around and sat on his desk, resting her legs against his. Urban legend stuff. Gil reached forward with his hands and massaged one of her calves. She moaned softly. If you cant finish it, dont start it.
He smiled up at her; she saw the desire flare in his eyes, knew her resolve wouldnt last long. She closed her eyes and gripped the desk with her hands. She felt him remove one of her shoes, and then he started rubbing her foot. Hows that?
She managed to roll her head forward and open her eyes. So great. She purred softly and then asked: Hows your case going?
He shrugged. Well figure it out eventually. It cant all be an angry renter. Sara and Warrick are running a couple things through the lab right now... they think he did something illegal. I dont know yet.
Who knows. Stranger things have happened. Nick believes that our vic was diving and got picked up in the bucket, and dropped over the forest fire. Even Gil laughed softly. She took her foot out of his hands, knowing she wouldnt make it much longer if he kept it up; slowly, she slid it up to his chest, massaging awkwardly but gently. She was determined not to be the only one heated up.
Catherine, his voice was full of warning. If you cant finish it, dont start it.
She grinned. Payback.
He stood up. She gulped. She knew that look in his eyes, and what it meant. When his hands were on her hips, she knew there was no way she was going to be leaving the office anytime soon.
Gil kissed her softly at first, but after some prodding on Catherines part, the intensity and heat in the embrace increased. She caught herself, and pulled back. Are you sure?
Youve never asked me if Im sure before, Cath, he paused from kissing her lips to nibble at her neck. Something up?
It hadnt been on her mind, but when he asked, it couldnt be shaken away. Sorta, she mumbled. He looked up, stopping his work on her neck. Nick said something about you and Sara today... made me wonder if something had ever... She blushed and looked away; the expression on Gils face told her what she needed to know, and had already known on some level. Yeah, I know. You can stop looking at me that way. I know...
He brought a hand up and caressed her cheek. Youre my first office relationship, Cath, and I intend to make sure youre my only office relationship.
I know... I was just... being silly.
Maybe, he smiled at her. A little.
She turned her head a little and pressed her lips to the palm of his hand. He shuddered, as her lips rendered him unable to continue their conversation. She smiled. He pulled her closer. Catherine let her lips make a trail over his jaw and neck; Gil concentrated on standing, trying to keep himself from falling over.
Her breath tickled his ear. Think we should move to the sofa?
Yeah, he smiled, lifting her up in his arms. She giggled while he walked across the room. Once settled on the sofa, she started undressing; he followed her lead.
She smiled when she thought back on how their relationship had changed through the past year and a half. Although they had always been comfortable with each other, their comfort had increased, expanding into the sexual area of their bond. Nothing would shock them, but it wasnt becoming boring; he was still as attractive as he had been that day after putting Hollys killer away, she loved him the same, if not more.
Gil sat down, and Catherine took that as her cue. She loved being on top, and she was glad that Gil let her take charge most of the time.
Placing light kisses along his bare chest, she moved over him. He sighed, using his hands to hold her to him. When she lowered herself down onto him, he moved upwards. Their lips met, their hands grabbed. Together, they moved to a rhythm they knew well.
Catherine felt herself nearing the end; she tucked her face into his neck, moaning softly.
She moaned again, rolling out of his shoulder. She met his eyes and smiled. When her eyelids fluttered, she felt his mouth on her breast, nipping.
Geez... Gil... She knew she was babbling; it couldnt be helped. She rocked with him until she couldnt take it anymore. Then, she gave in and let the waves of pleasure rock her body. She shuddered. Soon after, Gil grunted and fell back against the sofa. She felt him tighten, and then she felt him release.
He smiled up at her. I love you.
I love you, too, she wiped some of the dampness from his face, before kissing his cheek and falling into his shoulder. She knew that eventually shed have to leave the office, but she wasnt ready to yet. Hold me for a little while?
He didnt say a word. She sighed when she felt him adjust their positions, tighten his arms around her, and place a kiss to her neck. They stayed like that for fifteen minutes. It wasnt enough, but Catherine knew it would have to do.
I should go check and see if Docs done, she muttered.
Yeah, he nodded, voice as heavy with reluctance as hers.
She smiled, kissing his still-swollen lips, while disentangling herself from his arms. Dont pout.
Cant help it.
I know, she said, reaching for her clothes. She saw his boxers and tossed them his way. But, well have each others undivided attention later.
He grinned, catching the shirt she threw at him, before she slipped into her pants. She saw the grin, full of promises and excitement. She laughed softly, knowing how little sleep shed be getting once she was home.
Warrick, Catherine talked into her phone. Hes meeting me here. She scanned the horizon from her car and spotted Paul Newsome waiting for her amidst some of the underdeveloped land. What if he doesnt
He cut her off. Just work your Willows charm. With any luck, he still has the hots for you. Hell cave and hand you the information you want. Be strong.
She took a deep breath. Be strong... okay.
Does Gil know about him?
No, she answered, turning her car off. But, nothing happened. I dont intend for anything to happen.
Good, just checking. Good luck with your lead.
She hung the phone up and got out of her vehicle. Warrick had suggested that Paul might be able to help her with her case during one of their daily phone calls during shift. They always liked to touch base. After the miscarriage, the calls became more frequent, and Warrick became the big brother she never had. Every once and a while, she still needed his advice.
He spoke first, when she was close enough. Im, uh, all for being alone, but...
Did you bring the file? Catherine wasnt letting him sway her from the point of the visit. Well, there goes the foreplay.
He sighed. Its in the car. I hope you appreciate that even as district engineer it wasnt easy getting the original land deed.
She did appreciate it, but she wasnt about to let him know she was grateful. That lead to assumptions in the wrong areas. Well, I know how you love a challenge. So, whatd the property sell for?
Half a million bucks and acre. Is there anything else that you need to use me for?
She sensed the hostility in his voice. Whoa. Excuse me?
It's obvious that you're not here for me, he told her flatly. You're here for yourself. So let's not waste each other's time, all right? She accepted that; it would make things a little easier. The property was owned jointly by two men: Jerry Walden and Bruce Skeller. At the time that they bought it, it was a steal, fifty grand an acre. Two years later, Adventures Development come in, they start buying up the surrounding parcels. Your guys hold out, until last week and let me tell you, they got top dollar.
She took the information in. Hmmm. Capitalists wet dream. Buy low, sell high. So, they played it smart.
He responded: Well, one of them did. From all I can tell, Jerry Walden was selling to Adventures from the get-go, but his partner, well... was a different deal altogether. He was a diehard environmentalist. A real tree-hugger.
She fought the urge to giggle. You can say that again.
He saw the writing on the wall. The urbanization of Lake Mead... and he spent every cent he had trying to fight it. When it comes down to money versus the environment, its no big surprise whos going to win. He paused, and then asked: So, is there anything else that I can do for you?
With a smile, she kissed him, before walking away. Ill see you, she told him. When she retrieved the file from his car, she looked back at him. He was still watching her. Get more with honey than vinegar, she muttered to herself. Hopefully that will keep a bridge from burning.
Gil stayed at the office for as long as he could; he wasnt looking forward to confirming something he had overheard Warrick say on the phone. But, he knew that Catherine would be worried, and he also knew it wasnt healthy to hang onto things.
When he made it to her place, she was pacing the living room. I was at work.
I know, she nodded. She looked distraught over something. When he asked if everything was okay, she stopped moving. Yeah, everythings fine. Why didnt you tell me about Saras little chalk brushing move?
He shrugged, shutting the door, taking his shoes off. Why didnt you tell me about the district engineer?
Both of them looked at each other and asked: How did you know about that?
Catherine smiled first. Greg was pouting in the Break Room. Apparently, he has a crush on Sara.
Well, it appears as though Sara has a crush on me. Believe me, Cath. Nothing happened. Gil blushed and sat down. She resumed pacing. He reached for her wrist. Want to tell me about Paul? She sighed. Please.
She sat next to him. We met while I was working on that building collapse case. There were sparks, she admitted. But, it wasnt enough. For me, anyway. He asked me to coffee a couple of times. I went once. I needed him to babysit Lindsay once; everyone was so busy, and I had a case, and my sister couldnt take her, and Eddie, she chuckled bitterly, Well, hed probably slap me with some sort of child custody thing.
And todays meeting was...
A business thing. I needed an original land deed for my case. I knew I could probably convince him to get it for me. She turned and faced him. Theres nothing there, Gil.
He smiled, and wrapped an arm around her, feeling better that he knew the story. Why wasnt it enough?
We were.... well, whatever we were at the time, and I knew that I had already fallen in love with you, and Paul wouldnt be able to deal with being second bananaeven if you hadnt felt the same way. She sighed. Then, the pregnancy... I couldnt... I only wanted you.
And now? He asked, needing to know. After seeing him again?
She smiled, her hands already fiddling with the buttons on his pants. I still only want you.
Wheres your amazing daughter?
He saw Catherines eyes darken. School. I took her there a little while ago.
Gil didnt waste another second.